Community Summit

Following the Youth Summit, on Saturday 6 May 2023, some 83 Cairns residents, community and business representatives came together to contribute their views and priorities to the Towards 2050 project.

Participants were brought up-to-date with the project so far, with a summary of what was heard during Phase 1 engagement and an insightful account of the young people’s contributions from the previous day’s Youth Summit.

After looking back on the urban change experienced in Cairns over the last 30 years and thinking about what was important to them about Cairns today, participants reflected on their role as the city’s custodians and their commitment to future generations.

The Towards 2050 project team explained the different factors to be considered in planning for Cairns as we move towards 2050. Participants then explored the complexity of navigating these factors together in order to protect important values, address today's challenges and ensure we are future ready.

Summit participants then evaluated an initial suite of draft Planning Principles prepared as a result of Phase 1 engagement and work on the 12 technical studies so far. They were challenged to consider these Principles from the perspective of their own individual needs, and also the needs of others and the needs of future generations.

The Summit successfully achieved the following:

  • build understanding of community aspirations and capture input that will inform the development of a vision for managing the growth of Cairns as we move towards 2050
  • prioritise what is important about the Cairns of today that needs to be protected and enhanced as we move towards 2050

The Summit was also designed to build participant understanding about:

  • the change that has occurred in Cairns in the past 30 years and how this change has helped to shape the places that are loved today
  • the opportunities and challenges that growth presents and what this means to each participant
  • the planning principles that will help to shape the Cairns of the future, and how community input captured has informed the development of these planning principles
  • how they will continue to be involved in the journey and can meaningfully and constructively spread the news about the project.

Community Summit highlights

Future gazing - imagine it's 2050 Cairns

Delegates immersed themselves in a future gazing exercise where they imagined what Cairns in 2050 looks like. Below are a small selection of the quotes from the delegates' workbooks. These are only examples; a summary of outcomes and a report from the Community Summit will be published once all feedback is analysed.

Photo Gallery

Some photos from the Community Summit